It's Novak Djokovic vs. Dominic Thiem for the Australian Open title

Novak Djokovic celebrates at the 2019 U.S. Open.
Photo of Ricky Dimon

Ricky Dimon

Tennis

Show Bio

Since graduating from Davidson (The College That Stephen Curry Built), I have been writing about sports--just about any and all you can think of!--and coaching tennis in Atlanta, Ga. Beyond the four major sports, I am an avid tennis fan and cover the ATP Tour on a daily basis. If I'm not busy writing, you can generally find me on a tennis court or traveling the world wherever a sporting event takes me.

When will the younger generation of players break through? When will the proverbial touch be passed? Those are questions often wondered when it comes to the ATP Tour.

As it stands now, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, and Roger Federer have not gone anywhere. Even though Djokovic and Nadal split last year’s four Grand Slam titles at two apiece, there were some signs of chinks in the armor–mainly with Federer, although he at least managed to finish runner-up at Wimbledon (to Djokovic, after squandering two match points). Daniil Medvedev pushed Nadal to five sets in the U.S. Open final and Stefanos Tsitsipas won the year-end championship in London. Tsitsipas triumphed in a title match that was devoid of all Big 3 members. The Greek’s opponent was Dominic Thiem.

Thiem’s time?

Speaking of Thiem, that’s who gets the next shot at pulling the next generation over the hump. The 26-year-old will go up against Djokovic in Sunday’s Australian Open final (check out our free expert tennis picks) after Djokovic took care of Federer on Thursday and Thiem battled past Alexander Zverev on Friday. That second semifinal lasted three hours and 42 minutes until Thiem crucially avoided a fifth set by prevailing 3-6, 6-4, 7-6(3), 7-6(4). The Austrian had previously outlasted Nadal 7-6(3), 7-6(4), 4-6, 7-6(6) in a quarterfinal thriller that lasted four hours and 10 minutes.

“Credit to him,” Zverev said of Thiem following Friday’s nightcap. “He’s playing unbelievable tennis right now.”

Thiem has been playing unbelievable tennis for about 12 months now. Last season he captured the biggest title of his career in Indian Wells and finished runner-up to Nadal at the French Open for a second straight time.

Thiem vs. Djokovic head-to-head

Thiem’s two signature wins in 2019 came over Federer in the Indian Wells championship match and at Djokovic’s expense in the French Open semis. The latter showdown saw the current No. 5 player in world survive a 6-2, 3-6, 7-5, 5-7, 7-5 war that spanned two days. Overall, Djokovic leads the head-to-head series 6-4–including 3-1 on hard courts. Their most recent hard-court encounter resulted in one of 2019’s best matches, with Thiem pulling off a 6-7(5), 6-3, 7-6(5) upset during round-robin action at the year-end champion on the indoor hard courts of London.

Australia, however, is Djokovic’s favorite setting. The world No. 2 (who will regain the top spot from Nadal with a win on Sunday) owns a record seven Australian Open titles and he is a perfect 7-0 in finals. Djokovic–playing inspired tennis following Kobe Bryant’s tragic passing–has not lost a single set since donating one to Jan-Lennard Struff back in the first round.

It’s true that Thiem is knocking on the door. It’s going to take the performance of his life to knock it down.

Virginia Bonuses

See All
Unibet

$100

Get a $100 Risk-Free Bet!

Register for a new Unibet account & make a deposit

Place your first bet up to $100 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $100

New players only. Terms & conditions apply. 21+. VA only.

FanDuel Sportsbook

$1,000

Get a $1,000 No Sweat First Bet

Sign up for a new FanDuel Sportsbook account and make your first deposit of $10+

Place your first bet up to $1,000!

Get refunded if you lose up to $1,000

Must be 21+. First online real money wager only. $10 first deposit required. Bonus issued as non-withdrawable free bets that expire 14 days after receipt. See full terms at fanduel.com/sportsbook.

BetRivers

$500

Get a $500 Risk-Free Bet

Sign up for a new BetRivers account using promo code PICKSWISE

Make your first deposit & get up to $500 in free bets

To get $500 in free bets, wager $500

Must be 21+. Play in IA Only. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-BETS OFF

BetMGM

$200

Bet $10, Win $200 if Any NBA Team Hits a Three Pointer!

Sign up for a new betting account with BetMGM

Place a pre-game moneyline wager of at least $10 on a NBA game

Win $200 in free bets if any team hits a three pointer

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

DraftKings

$150

Bet $5 & Win $150 If Your First Moneyline Bet Wins!

Sign up for a new account with DraftKings Sportsbook and make your first deposit

Bet $5+ on the pre-game Moneyline in any sport

Win $200 if your team wins

Offer valid for new players only. Must be 21 years or older to play. Reward paid in site credit. Full terms available at DraftKings Sportsbook.

PointsBet

$800

Get 4x $200 In Free Bets

Sign up for a new PointsBet account

Bet up to $200 and If you lose, you get a refund

You will receive Free Bet(s) in the amount of the losing wager(s), up to $200 each for four days.

Must be 21+. Full terms are available at PointsBet.

Caesars Sportsbook

$1,250

Get a $1,250 risk-free bet

Sign up for a new Caesars Sportsbook account

Place your first bet of $10 or more

If your first bet loses, you’ll receive a refund up to $1,250 from Caesars in free bets

21+. Terms and conditions apply.

BetMGM

$200

Bet $10, Get $200 if Any NHL Team Scores A Goal

Sign up for a new betting account with BetMGM

Place a pre-game moneyline wager of at least $10 on a NHL game

Win $200 in free bets if any teams scores a goal

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

BetMGM

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Risk Free Bet

Register for a new BetMGM & deposit

Place your first bet up to $1,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $1,000

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

PointsBet

$500

Get 5x $100 in Free Bets

Sign up for a new PointsBet account

Make a bet of up to $100 and receive a refund if you lose

Get this offer once a day for the first 5 days you sign up

Must be 21+. Full terms are available at PointsBet.

DraftKings

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Deposit Bonus

Register for a new DraftKings Sportsbook account & deposit

DraftKings will match 20% of your deposit up to $1,000 total

To get a $100 bonus, deposit $500

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

PointsBet

$2,000

Get $2,000 in Free Bets

Register for a new PointsBet account & deposit

Receive a free bet refund up to $500 if your first fixed odds bet loses

& a free bet refund up to $1,500 if your first two PointsBetting Wager loses

Must be 21+. Full terms are available at PointsBet.

Monkey Knife Fight

$100

Claim Instant Deposit Match up to $100 + Free $5 game

Register for a Monkey Knife Fight account & deposit using promo code PICKSWISE100

Monkey Knife Fight will match your first deposit up to $100

Deposit $100 and you'll get $100 bonus + a free $5 game

18+. Terms and conditions apply. You must live in one of the states where real money DFS is legal.

TVG

$200

Get Your First Single-Horse Win Wager Back Up to $200 if you don't win

Register for a new TVG account and make a deposit

Place your first single horse win-type bet up to $200

If your horse doesn't win you'll get a refund up to $300

21+. T&C's apply. Please gamble responsibly.

TwinSpires

$200

Get a $200 Sign-Up Bonus with Twinspires Racebook!

Open your TwinSpires.com account using offer code BET200

$200 bonus cash will be credited in increments of $100 for every $400 wagered

To earn the full $200 bonus players must wager $800 within 30 days

21+. Terms and conditions apply.

Underdog Fantasy

$100

First deposit is 100% matched up to $100 with Underdog Fantasy

Sign up for a new account with Underdog Fantasy

Make your first deposit

Every dollar (up to $100) will be matched! Deposit $25, get $50; deposit $100, get $200, etc

Must be 21+ to play. Terms & conditions apply